“Then He said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.’” (Luke 13:18-19 NKJV)
Too often, when people think of the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, they mistake it for Heaven. Jesus asked a question that He then answered himself: what is the Kingdom of God like? He described a couple of instances where things started small but grew to become big things. A mustard seed is small, easily eaten by birds, but given time, it grows until it’s a tree large enough to give shade and a place to roost for the birds. Dough for bread isn’t large, but if you put the leaven in the loaf, it will grow and expand until all the dough is saturated with the leaven. The Kingdom of God is here on earth as God’s people make an impact on society and make the kingdom grow by sharing the love and mercy of God with others. The Kingdom of God grows here on earth as God’s rule in the hearts of people grows. That means that we’re called to share His love, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, and help make it grow. That’s the tough part. We’re too afraid to show anything that looks like weakness towards others and love and mercy looks weak to some people. The truth is that love and mercy are the hardest road to take, because our natural reaction is to attack, or counter-attack people when they deserve it. I’m sure some of your co-workers or clientele deserve the worst. I guess if I looked at myself with God’s eyes, I’d deserve the worst, not the best – but He gave me His best. He gave me love and forgiveness when I deserved condemnation. Maybe that means I can show love to people who deserve my worst also.
As you think back on your day, how often did you respond with God’s grace when the world would expect you to lash out? How often did you do the natural thing and lash out at a co-worker or client who wronged you? How often did you maintain a neutral attitude on the outside when inside you were screaming for vengeance? Commit tonight to make tomorrow a day to show grace and mercy instead of seeking vengeance for wrongs suffered. You’d be surprised at the difference it can make in the overall relationship.
Lord, I deserved nothing but vengeance and wrath, still, You loved me and showed me Your grace and mercy. Remind me of that when I’m about to lose my temper. Remind me of how much Your forgave me so that I can forgive others in the same way.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.